Case study
TEMA type shell & tube heat exchanger

Weight reduction due to Design Optimization

A Swiss company wanted a significant weight reduction for a Shell & Tube Heat Exchanger.  Read how we achieved a weight reduction of approximately 47% thanks to Design Optimization of a Shell & Tube Heat Exchanger for a natural gas application. 

Impacting on energy where it matters.

Our solution
TEMA type shell & tube heat exchanger

Design Optimization almost halves the weight of a Shell & Tube Exchanger

By implementing two different design improvements, we were able to meet all customer requirements regarding weight and budget savings: a very successful project.

Customer challenge

Our customer requested a Shell & Tube Heat Exchanger for their natural gas application. Due to the natural gas field pressure, the design pressure was 220 bar. The engineering company approached us to deliver the standard TEMA-AEL (fixed tube sheet) type. However, our customer had weight and price challenges and a limited budget. The AEL arrangement meant a lot of parts, resulting in extra weight of the equipment, hence a higher price.

Our approach

To realize the requirements of our customer, we came up with two different types of Design Optimization:

Optimization 1 
After meticulously looking at the process condition, we realized we would be able to do a lot of thermal/hydraulic optimization to reduce the weight. We could design the equipment in such a way that it could be placed in a single-pass arrangement. Due to this arrangement, we could make use of the CONICAL shapes channels with inlet and outlet nozzles instead of conventional flat cover with channels in AEL type.

Optimization 2
As the design pressure was high on the tube side, so was the thickness of the channel and the weight. During mechanical optimization, while designing the saddles, the overturning moment was more due to the noticeable high weights of the channels on both sides. To overcome the stresses, we placed the saddles on the rigid part tube sheet, which may otherwise conventionally be placed on the shell, resulting in higher thickness and higher weight.

The solution

With two types of Design Optimization, we were able to reduce the weight drastically. As a result, we can speak of a successful order and a happy customer.


  • Weight as per TEMA-AEL: minus ~19,000 kg

  • Weight after the design optimization: minus ~12,000 kg

  • MOC – SS 316

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TEMA type shell & tube heat exchanger

Associated Product

More information about the TEMA type Heat Exchanger.

Shell & Tube Heat Exchanger
design optimization shell & tube heat exchangers

Associated Product

Read our process of Design Optimization.

Design Optimization
2.01 - TEMA type shell & tube heat exchangers foto 06

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